CHICAGO — In its first six months on the market, a brand of Asian-inspired oatmeal has gained national distribution and is set to expand further following recent funding.
Launched last summer, Yishi Foods’ products were developed to fill the gap between plain oats and sugary cereals, said founder Lin Jiang. The oatmeal contains a base of organic oats, flaxseed, hemp seeds and almonds, plus ingredients such as black sesame, taro and adzuki beans, and are packaged in multi-serve pouches and single-serve cups. Flavors include toasted black sesame, taro bubble tea, red bean berry, matcha latte and sweet osmanthus, which Ms. Jiang said “tastes like vanilla soy milk with an herbal hint.” Each offering is paired with a specific functional benefit, such as energy, focus, radiance and calm. Yí shì is the Chinese word for “ritual.”
In July, Yishi Foods raised $3.13 million in pre-seed financing led by XYZ Investors, with plans to use the funds to support retail distribution, building the team and developing new products.
“This has been such an exciting first year for Yishi, and I’m excited to see where 2022 takes us,” Ms. Jiang said. “I was inspired by my mother and my Chinese heritage to create this oatmeal and am excited to reach new consumers who are looking to discover a healthier, better-tasting breakfast. Our retailers and our investment partners recognize the need for innovation in the breakfast category and the desire for global-inspired flavors. We are bringing both to shoppers’ breakfast tables and pantries.”Yishi products are available online at yishifoods.com and nationwide at Meijer’s, Gelson’s, Bristol Farms, Wegmans, Central Market and select Whole Foods Market stores.